How Much Should You Invest In and Change to a Rental Property?

Since the pandemic began, we’ve been spending more time at home and, with up to 70% of offices looking to opt for hybrid or remote working models for the long term, it’s thought that many of us could be spending much more time at home.

It’s understandable that we want to make our personal space as comfortable and as possible – growth in spending on home decor and furniture led to predict a significant increase in the home decor market, from $98.4 billion in 2020 to $348.3 billion by 2027. But rental regulations and restrictions imposed by landlords mean adding a personal touch often feels unachievable, including 31% of households in Maharashtra, 33% in Delhi and 49% in Karnataka.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take as a tenant to give your space a new lease of life without breaking your rental agreement or losing your deposit. 

What you can and can’t do

It’s crucial to understand what your rental agreement says you’re allowed to do in terms of making changes to a property – and there’s a good chance this will be very little. For example, as a tenant, you shouldn’t really be making any major changes to the property. This includes decor changes such as painting, setting up wall shelves or drilling to hang picture frames. However, some landlords are open to negotiation. You could ask your landlord for permission to make certain changes. They may request you to put things back as they were once you are to vacate.  

A landlord’s willingness might also come down to how long you’ve lived in the property. Those who are long-term tenants and have a good relationship with their landlord may find that minor adjustments to the property aren’t a problem. Keep in mind though that if you do manage to obtain permission, everything should be in writing. 

It’s also important to be aware of whether your insurance covers any DIY mishaps. Crucially, a tenant can’t insure a landlord’s property. Although some tenants’ insurance options offer add-on liability cover, this typically relates to accidents (such as if you accidentally dent the wall or break a window) rather than negligence – for example, drilling into electrics when hanging a picture (especially if you didn’t have permission). In cases of negligence, the tenant is responsible for paying to fix it – so check with your insurer what is and isn’t covered by your policy.


How to make a rental property your own

Even if you’ve got the strictest of landlords, don’t panic – you still have design options. It just takes a little bit of thought and some imagination. 

Alternately, some tenants who do have scope to make more considerable decor changes are still reluctant to do so. Not only can costs quickly add up but, with no financial stake in the property, they receive no return on their investment.

So, to cover all bases, we asked Raywood to share some design ideas that can have a big impact but require little cost and are easy to remove – making them a win-win.

Go green

Liven up rooms by introducing plants. From a design perspective, plants can make a space more lively and add a pop of color with their vibrant greens. Even better? Research shows that certain plants that grow easily in India can significantly improve air quality.

Hang tough

If you want to display your favorite photos, hanging strips – usually comprising velcro on one side and adhesive on the other – can be used to attach frames to walls. Premium ones on the market state they hold up to 10kg in weight and can be peeled off without causing damage. 

Light up

While you might not be allowed to change the light fitting, you can change the light bulb – and doing so is an easy way to create ambiance and warmth. Connected by Bluetooth, ‘smart bulbs’ are controlled via an app to go brighter or darker and, in some cases, even change color.

Stack them high

Can’t drill shelves into walls? Look for eye-catching freestanding options. Ladder shelving is a really good option, and you can get them at reasonable prices. Otherwise, you can think of buying wooden blocks or crates that you can stack and paint to suit your tastes.

Try the soft touch

From rugs to throws, soft furnishings are an effortless way to add color and character to a room. Consider attaching tapestry-style pieces to the wall (using hanging strips) to add a bit of variety and warmth amongst frames.

Stick to it

While the idea of wall stickers may not sound too appealing, hear us out. These days, they come in great quality and designs. Plus, they are a good option when you don’t want to spend a lot on wall decor. The majority peel on and off without damaging paint and come in an array of designs to suit every age and theme – with Amazon or Flipkart being a great place to start your search. 

When you are renting out a property, it can be hard to know how much time, effort and money to invest into it. We all want our living spaces to reflect our tastes and styles. It’s important to strike the right balance between feeling at home and being cost-conscious. Choose changes that are affordable and make purchases that you can reuse in the future. That way, when you eventually buy property, you will have the pieces you love ready for your permanent home. And you can make more expensive and longed-for purchases and equipment, which can be safeguarded by buying your own home insurance


Living in a rental property? Restrictions from landlords mean it can be hard to know how to make a space your own – without affecting your deposit or insurance policy. We share decor ideas to try that will keep all involved happy


If you rent your home, chances are you feel frustrated by what your landlord says you can do to make it your own. These ideas will help you put your stamp on things – without risking your deposit or insurance policy


With various restrictions set by landlords, it can be hard to know how to make a space your own – and not compromise your deposit or insurance policy at the same time. We reveal expert advice on decor ideas to try that will keep all involved happy